Iowa falls to Memphis despite Jok's career game
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NICEVILLE, Fla. (AP) Dedric Lawson scored 35 points and Jeremiah Martin hit a pair of three-pointers that brought Memphis from behind and put the Tigers ahead to stay Saturday for a 100-92 victory over Iowa in the Emerald Coast Classic consolation game.
Lawson dueled Iowa’s Peter Jok, who scored a career-high 42 to lead the Hawkeyes. The game featured three ties and 15 lead changes before Martin’s two long-distance shots put the Tigers (5-1) up for good 68-65 after trailing Iowa (3-3) by a point early in the second half.
K.J. Lawson had 17 points, Markel Crawford scored 16, Craig Randall II added 15 points and Martin scored 14 for Memphis.
Jok, the Big Ten’s scoring leader, rebounded after No. 7 Virginia, which boasts the nation’s top scoring defense, held him to only 13 points in Iowa’s Friday’s 74-41 semifinal loss. Jok was averaging 24.3 points per game going into Saturday’s contest. Tyler Cook was the only other Hawkeye to score in double figures with 17.
Each team had a big run in the first half. Memphis opened a 12-point lead, the largest advantage for either team, with a 14-2 run that began with Crawford’s three-point shot to break a 7-7 tie. Iowa immediately responded with a 16-4 run to tie the game at 25-25.
Dedric Lawson’s jumper put Memphis back in the lead 27-25. Iowa never could get closer than one point behind before the half ended with Memphis up 54-51.
Memphis: Defeating the Big 10’s Hawkeyes was redemption for the Tigers after blowing a 12-point lead in Friday’s 60-51 semifinal loss to Providence out of the Big East. That loss knocked some of the luster off the Tigers’ 4-0 season-opening record against weaker opponents.
Their schedule will strengthen in December against the likes of 5-1 Mississippi and 4-1 Oklahoma. The hometown Lawson brothers, sophomore Dedric and freshman K.J., led the Tigers in scoring and rebounding going into Saturday’s game. Dedric averaged 20.4 points 11.6 rebounds per game and K.J. was second in both categories with 13.4 points and nine rebounds per game. Coach Tubby Smith has acknowledged the Tigers have had some growing pains early in his first year at the helm. Smith blamed himself for not having the team adequately prepared for the zone defense that Providence used to help erase the Tigers’ lead in Friday’s game. Smith, though, said there’s still plenty of time to improve before getting into the meat of the Tigers’ schedule.
Iowa: The trip to the Florida Panhandle was a bust for the Hawkeyes even though they easily had the largest fan contingent at the Emerald Coast. The loss to Virginia left those fans stunned and showed the Hawkeyes have plenty of work to do despite a gaudy 96.2 scoring average going into the tournament. Virginia, which leads the nation in scoring defense, held Iowa to less than half that figure. The challenges will continue to mount with a visit to Notre Dame next on the agenda and visit from No. 21 Iowa State looming on Dec. 8.